Tsar Samuil is considered the father of modern Bulgaria. But the unveiling this week of a statue of him in Sofia has created controversy - due to its bizarre glowing eyes.
The statue was unveiled by President Rosen Plevneliev on Monday, and by nightfall its eyes were alight for Sofia residents to see.
Curious locals flocked to photograph the six-feet figure, and it quickly became a topic of debate on social media. Some created mock-up pictures of the tsar in sunglasses.
The statue depicts the 10th century tsar with eyes that glow in the dark. Sculptor Alexander Haitov says the tsar's eyes "glow with an inner light".
The idea behind this bizarre representation is the story of the tsar's death of a heart attack after seeing his army taken prisoner and blinded on the orders of Byzantine Emperor Basil II.
Locals not impressed
"This is the Bulgarian king who lead the army during a terrible war with Byzantium for 40 years," says former Bulgaria Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki.
"As a result of that war, the political community at that time started to build a nation. He is the core of our modern nation."
But the statue does not impress locals in Sofia. One said: "It is very small. The one in Skopje is four to five times larger and made from marble. I don't like it at all."
Sofia's local council has already shown their displeasure wih the staue. But for the moment, the glowing eyes of Samuil will continue to enlighten the centre of Sofia.